Wed December 9, 2015

Lisa Page 
Tel: 916-288-2208

December 9, 2015

Initiative Signature Gathering Set to Commence Immediately

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today the California Attorney General’s office released title and summary for a ballot initiative that would direct all money generated or collected under a state law that mandates consumer charges for carryout bags to an environmental fund, rather than grocers. It also provides local governments the option to direct local bag fees to the environmental fund. The proposed “Environmental Fee Protection Act” was filed with the California Attorney General’s office on October 2, 2015 by the America Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) and its supporters in response to Senate Bill 270, which passed in 2014 and bans plastic retail bags and requires grocers to charge – and keep – a minimum 10 cents for each paper and thicker plastic bag provided to customers.

“If SB 270 is really about the environment, then voters should have the choice to direct their bag fees to the environment and their communities,” said Lee Califf, Executive Director of the APBA. “Plastic bag manufacturers and recyclers are against bag bans, fees and taxes because they threaten the livelihood of 30,000 Americans who work in the industry, 2,000 of whom live and work in California, and because these policies have no meaningful impact on the environment. We believe California voters share our concerns and will make their voices heard at the ballot in November 2016 to vote NO on the statewide ban. But, should the ban pass, we want California voters to have the chance to decide where the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars from bag fees should go – either to increase grocers’ profits or to help fund worthy environmental causes.” 

With the release of the Environmental Fee Protection Act’s official title and summary, included below, APBA will immediately begin gathering the required number of signatures to qualify this initiative for the November 2016 ballot.

Environmental Fee Protection Act Summary and Title

The Attorney General of California has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:

CARRY-OUT BAGS. CHARGES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Redirects money collected by grocery and certain other retail stores through sale of carry-out bags, whenever any state law bans free distribution of a particular kind of carry-out bag and mandates the sale of any other kind of carry-out bag. Requires stores to deposit bag sale proceeds into a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board to support specified categories of environmental projects. Provides for Board to develop regulations implementing law. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government:  If voters uphold the state’s current carryout bag law, redirected revenues from retailers to the state, potentially in the several tens of millions of dollars annually.

Revenues would be used for grants for certain environmental and natural resources purposes. If voters reject the state’s current carryout bag law, likely minor fiscal effects. (15-0074.)

###

About the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) 
The American Progressive Bag Alliance was founded in 2005 to represent the United States’ plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector, employing 30,800 employees in 349 communities across the nation. APBA promotes the responsible use, reuse, recycling and disposal of plastic bags and advocates for American-made plastic products as the best environmental choice at check out—for both retailers and consumers.

###

Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $427 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly one million American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at www.plasticsindustry.org and www.inthehopper.org.

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. "Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."